August 2006
Interview
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John MorrisEMAIL INTERVIEW  John Morris & Ken Sinclair

John Morris, Vice President - Americas for Jennic, Ltd. wireless is responsible for marketing and sales strategies for the Americas as part of the U.K. based fabless RF microcontroller manufacturer.  A marketing and sales professional with 20 years experience, Morris has demonstrated leadership in a variety of industries including cable television, multimedia, entertainment, and internet connected devices for building and industrial control, as well a a demonstrated thought leader in the wired and wireless device networking space.
 


Wireless Device Networking Market

There are markets that ZigBee talks about, like home and building controls, industrial automation and the like, but watch out for health care devices, office equipment, AMR, and some consumer products you simply won’t believe.

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Sinclair:  Tell me about yourself John

Morris:  For over 6 years I was with Echelon running the systems integration business. Then I was with Embrace Networks (now Digi’s Connectware Manager). Next I was with Eka Systems (a brilliant AMR/telemetry solution). In December 2003 I joined Figure 8 Wireless, arguably the best brand in the ZigBee space, which was acquired by Chipcon and subsequently by Texas Instruments. Now I’m with Jennic, back in wireless again.

Sinclair:  Where is the wireless device networking market headed?

Morris:  Nowhere but up. First off, compared to some wired device networking platforms, there’s a $2-$10 BOM (Bill Of Materials) improvement right out of the box, before you even talk about the additional installation savings in wireless with our platform. That’s direct feedback from our customers.

Sinclair:  Cost of production I can see, but does wireless have any other benefits?

Morris:  The kinds of things we’re going to see in the next year or two will be truly amazing. There are markets that ZigBee talks about, like home and building controls, industrial automation and the like, but watch out for health care devices, office equipment, AMR, and some consumer products you simply won’t believe.

Sinclair:  Tell me about Jennic.

Morris:  Jennic has been quietly providing air-tight fab-ready technology to some of the world’s most demanding companies like TI, Alcatel and Nortel for the last decade. We turned that expertise in silicon solutions for networking on the 802.15.4 space and released the single chip JN-5121 solution in December of 2004, months before any other company could even demo a single chip product let alone ship one in volume.

Sinclair:  What’s unique about the Jennic offering?

Morris:  It’s the most simple value proposition I have found in my career…most computing power, widest peripheral support, most memory and lowest cost in the 802.15.4/ZigBee space. We offer a 32 bit RISC processor, 160K of total memory, 21 GPIO, ADCs, DACs, serial ports, all on a single chip under $5 in quantity….a Swiss Army Knife for wireless device development.

Sinclair:  Where are you finding your customers?

Morris:  My team has a great set of contacts due to our experience in the space in general. I’ve been a real proponent of vertical market focus, and we’ve been at shows like CES, AHR Expo and Embedded Systems, but our biggest bet is with the Clasma events.

CatNet Systems Sinclair:  How so?

Morris:  The most noticeable difference is the ability of the events to bring together three important elements, BuilConn for building focus, M2M for general reach and GridWise for the AMR and automation focus. Now they’re focusing in on our business directly with the new Wi-tivity. The result of all this is unlike many technology events that cater to engineers and developers, Clasma events attract the business people…the folks out to discover a vision for their companies, not just keep the status quo.

Sinclair:  Give me an example of how BuilConn has worked for you?

Morris:  One of the attendees at one of my speaking sessions at BuilConn this spring was the CEO of a well known building controls company we had on our target list. We hooked up at the opening night networking reception and he came to my session to set up a follow up meeting at their offices. We’ll be there in the next couple weeks. That deal alone paid for the investment in BuilConn and I had our corporate office commit to Amsterdam, Singapore and Chicago.

Sinclair:  Well, in that case I will see you in Singapore.

Morris:  Great Ken, I look forward to showing you some of our wares there.

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